New Orleans Saints: Game-by-game predictions of 2019
Second Quarter: 4-0
After that banging opening to the season, the Saints settle down to some winnable games. Tampa Bay comes here with new coach Bruce Arians. Arians will have Tampa playing better, but they are still not ready to contend in this division. Which Jameis Winston shows up will be the key to this game, but ultimately, the Saints are better at every position.
The Saints take I-10 East to Jacksonville after that. This should not be the Jacksonville team of last year that gave up halfway through the year, but it won’t be the one that was minutes away from being the AFC Champion two seasons ago either.
A healthy Fournette could help them, and Nick Foles brings them competence at QB. But we’ve beaten a Nick Foles offense a few times now, and that shouldn’t change.
The big matchup of the second quarter of the season will be going to Chicago.
It will be the Saints dangerous offense against one of the best defenses in the league. I think we’re early enough in the season that weather won’t be a factor (not snow at least). Offensively, the Bears still don’t seem to have put all the pieces together. But the Bears pose a threat that we’ll want to be careful of.
We finish the first half of the season with the Arizona Cardinals before our bye week. I believe Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury will be an interesting test for the Saints. Our weakness last year was the passing defense. This NFL version of the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach “Air Raid” offense might be interesting.
Or it might go the way of Chip Kelly’s college offense that stunk in the NFL. We should know a little about it by that point in the season. But outside of David Johnson, Murray, and the ageless Larry Fitzgerald, we don’t know how this offense will work. Their line last year was terrible. If that’s the case again, Murray will be running for his life, much like Josh Rosen did last year.
The Saints for sure win three of these, but I’m picking all of them. After the tough opening, we will hit our stride in this segment.